What are they?
Shin Splints is a catch all term referring to leg pain brought on by running or jumping activities. They are generally felt on the inside or the outside of your leg below the knee.
* If you have had direct trauma to your shin which is causing pain, it should be checked out by a physician immediately.
What causes my shin splints?
There are numerous muscles that attach to your leg bone (the tibia) where you feel the pain. Shin splint pain is caused by a strained muscle or tendonitis right at the attachment of the muscle. Severe shin splints can be caused by the muscle actually pulling from the bone irritating the outer layer of bone (periosteum / periostitis).
What am I doing wrong?
Shin splints are normally caused by repetitive impact sports or exercise like volleyball, tennis, gymnastics, basketball, and running – specifically with long distances, hills, hard and/or uneven surfaces. Many people suffer shin pain due to a change in routine, new activity, poor shoes, poor conditioning, inadequate warm-up, or overtraining.
How do I get rid of them?
- Reduce high impact/distance, hills, intensity
- Ice (especially after activities) No more than 15 min/hour (No heat!)
- Elastic wrap/sleeve
- Massage and Stretching
- Strengthening (not during flare-ups) of calf muscles, shin muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles
- Jog in shallow end of pool
*If home treatment does not work after 1 week, consider visiting a chiropractic physician or other physical medicine doctor who can offer muscle therapy/massage, electromodalities, taping, manipulation, and stretching therapies.
How about preventing shin splints?
- Gradually workup your training and avoid over training
- Give yourself an adequate warm-up including stretches
- Adequate foot support with the proper shoes and/or orthotic supports
- Limit the amount of hard surfaces, hills, and uneven surfaces (trails or one way cantered roads).